Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch

Blood Bitch






The last time I spoke to Jenny Hval, we broached the topic of how the Norwegian artist uses comfortable and uncomfortable sounds to manipulate the listener. I suggested that perhaps the more traditionally beautiful moments on her latest release (then 2015’s critically adored Apocalypse, girl) operated as a disruptive tool as much as the noise. She didn’t really agree. “I’m here to make you uncomfortable. But I don’t see the more harmonious parts of my work as lulling. I’m not a trickster. I truly believe that there is room for all kinds of elements together without them betraying one another.” Now back with another pleasantly challenging album, Blood Bitch, that statement feels truer than ever.

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Billie Marten – Writing of Blues and Yellows







Billie Marten is a child of the gloaming, the afternoon unspooling behind her. She writes of yellows, certainly, and the blues arrive later; big, inky, blue-black blotches of melancholy that fall and then blossom on fading parchment paper. At her first performance, aged 12, she played a Joanna Newsom song, and then “Doll Parts” by Hole. She adores the amber haze of home, while yearning for the city. By the time “Live” arrives, her paean to an imagined California, an imagined Berlin, an imagined elsewhere wrapped up in home comforts, the only thing left to surprise the listener about Writings of Blues and Yellows is that she sat in one place long enough to learn the piano.

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